By following these 8 commonsense tactics from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), you can get ahead of your allergies and keep them in the rear-view mirror all season long.
(BPT) - Spring. The time of year when, as poet Alfred Lord Tennyson famously said, a young man’s (and woman’s) fancy "lightly turns to thoughts of love." That is, of course, if you're not sneezing, coughing or dealing with itchy eyes. Spring allergies seem to get worse every year. Is there anything you can do to avoid them?
Yes, says allergist Todd Mahr, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). “You might feel like suffering from allergies is going to happen every spring no matter what, but there are ways to help alleviate your symptoms.”
These 8 ACAAI tips will help you enjoy the season instead of sitting it out indoors.
1. See an allergist. Before the season kicks in, make an appointment with an allergist to find out exactly what is causing those itchy, watery eyes. Discovering the allergen that you’re reacting to is the first step in treating it. The ACAAI’s Allergist Locator can help you find a board-certified allergist in your area.
2. Find out if it’s allergies or asthma. Or both. The symptoms from asthma can be similar to those of allergies. To make matters worse, allergies plus asthma can be a one-two punch for some allergy sufferers. Almost 75 percent of asthma sufferers also have allergies. Your allergist can diagnose what's causing your symptoms and offer suggestions for treatment so you can start living the life you want to live.
3. Consider allergy shots… They may be the best way to treat tree, grass, mold, dust mite, cat and dog allergies. Allergy shots are immunotherapy. That means your allergist will gradually give you increasingly larger doses of whatever you’re allergic to. There are also tablets that melt under your tongue to treat allergies to ragweed, grass pollen and dust mites. Both forms create a tolerance within your immune system.
4. …or get a prescription. Research has shown that most allergy sufferers find prescription medications more effective than those they can get over the counter. But most people don't go in search of a prescription. An allergist can discover exactly what you’re allergic to and prescribe the right medication to ease your symptoms.
5. Start medication before the season hits. Don’t wait. Much like successful pain management involves getting in front of pain before it kicks into high gear, by taking your allergy medications before the worst symptoms develop, you’ll be doing a lot to alleviate those symptoms. If you usually start feeling it in March or April, start taking your medications in February.
6. Commit to a thorough spring cleaning. It's not just to give the house a fresh look after the long winter. A deep clean will reduce allergens like mold, which build up in basements and other areas where you might not go every day. It’s also a great way to get rid of the pet hair and dander that have built up in places like your sofa. Wash throw rugs regularly, too, in hot water.
7. Wash the day away before going to bed. Take a shower and wash your hair before hitting the hay to rinse away pollen and other allergens you've picked up during the day. Similarly, wash your sheets and bedding once a week in hot water.
8. Use the AC. It’s tempting to throw open the windows and let that fresh spring air waft into the house. The only problem is, pollen and other allergens will waft in with it. Instead, use your air conditioner and make sure the filter is clean. Change your filter every three months and use one with a MERV rating of 11 or 12.
With a few commonsense tactics, you can get ahead of your allergies and keep them in the rear-view mirror all season long.
The ACAAI is a professional medical organization of more than 6,000 allergists-immunologists and allied health professionals, headquartered in Arlington Heights, Ill. The College fosters a culture of collaboration and congeniality in which its members work together and with others toward the common goals of patient care, education, advocacy and research. ACAAI allergists are board-certified physicians trained to diagnose allergies and asthma, administer immunotherapy and provide patients with the best treatment outcomes. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org. Join us on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
If you or a loved one are struggling with the expenses of diabetes, here are some useful tips to control the cost of supplies and treatment.
(BPT) - For the over 29 million Americans living with diabetes, striking a balance between managing diabetes and controlling the cost of treatment can be challenging.[i] According to a Wakefield Research survey of 500 adults with diabetes, 62 percent of respondents said they felt they could do a better job managing their diabetes if supplies were more affordable, and 58 percent admitted to cutting corners in order to save money.
If you or a loved one are struggling with the expenses of diabetes, here are some useful tips to control the cost of supplies and treatment:
Affordable and simple testing
Testing your blood glucose regularly is very important for people with diabetes as it assists with the management of their condition and helps to prevent serious complications.[ii]
Check out the Accu-Chek Guide System, which includes a new blood glucose meter to help simplify the most frequent tasks needed to manage diabetes. Updated features include test strips in a new spill-resistant SmartPack vial to help ensure you won’t spill any strips when you take one for testing, a larger application area on the strip so even a small drop of blood anywhere along the end will yield results, and the meter’s strip port light to allow you to easily test at night as well as during the day.
An addition to the Accu-Chek Guide System is the SimplePay program which provides consistent low prices on test strips.[iii] Simply download the free SimplePay Savings card on the Accu-Chek website and hand the card to your pharmacist, along with your Accu-Chek guide meter and strip prescription to start saving. Visit accu-chek.com/guide to learn more and to download the savings card.
Manage medications for savings
Medications can be expensive, but several strategies can help you cut back on costs.
First, always ask your doctor if a generic version is available for any diabetes medication he or she prescribes for you. Generic medications typically cost much less than name brands, and the FDA requires generics to be the same as their brand-name equivalents in dosage form, safety, strength, route of administration, quality, performance characteristics and intended use.[iv]
If your doctor advises you to stick with a brand-name diabetes medicine, try contacting the manufacturer to see if they offer discount programs for patients. Many do.
Another tip is to purchase your diabetes medications in bulk to save money. Some online prescription supply companies offer savings for purchasing medicines in bulk. Just be sure you’re purchasing from a reputable supplier.
Use online resources and communities
When it comes to managing a disease like diabetes, knowledge really is power. A wealth of information is available for people living with diabetes from sources such as:
* The American Diabetes Association at www.diabetes.org.
* The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Education Program (www.cdc.gov/diabetes).
* The Children’s Diabetes Foundation (www.childrensdiabetesfoundation.org).
* The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes).
* Your local health department.
Support organizations can also help you manage your disease. You’ll not only receive guidance from others who share similar experiences and concerns, but community members may be able to share ideas, tips and practical advice.
To learn more about diabetes management and controlling the cost of testing supplies, visit accu-chek.com/guide.
The Roche Diabetes Care Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 500 U.S. adults with diabetes, between April 11th and April 19th, 2017, using an email invitation and an online survey.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
[iii] The card is not insurance; it is a cash discount program and cannot be combined with any form of health insurance. Those insured by any government healthcare program, such as Medicare or Medicaid, are NOT eligible for this offer. Some insurers may
offer a lower cost option.
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